Dhe energy prices are skyrocketing, and for many Hessians, a warm house or apartment will be an issue this winter. According to Hesse’s Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir (Die Grünen), it is currently almost impossible to hire an energy consultant or craftsman for energy-related renovation, they are fully booked. To help tenants and landlords save energy, the minister presented a do-it-yourself campaign on Tuesday that gives video tips for simple renovation work. According to Al-Wazir, there are currently no plans for direct financial help from the Hessian state government to relieve people of energy costs.
“As a country, we see our task more in helping people to reduce their consumption,” said the minister, even if further relief is being discussed with the federal government. He also pointed out that the state government supports the municipalities in energy saving measures. A procedure like that in Kassel, which pays its citizens energy money, will not exist in Hesse. “If gas prices triple, then the state will not be able to balance every burden for everyone. That doesn’t work, then we’ll be broke.”
Renovation tips on Youtube
It is therefore necessary to look closely at who really needs financial support. Al-Wazir named households that spend more than ten percent of their disposable household income on energy. This is about a quarter of Hessian households. However, to ensure that the Hessians don’t get on their knees financially because of the rising gas prices, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the State Energy Agency of Hesse are giving tips on how simple renovation work can be carried out even by people with only average technical skills.
“We can all do something to use energy more efficiently in our homes. This can be an insulated heating or hot water pipe, insulation behind the radiator or at the hatch to the attic stairs,” said Al-Wazir. To demonstrate that the tips work, he took action himself, cutting insulating material and using it to insulate an exposed heating pipe. The State Energy Agency developed the savings tips together with Benjamin Krick from the Passive House Institute and the energy consultant Carsten Herbert and produced explanatory videos.
Herbert reaches around 47,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel under his pseudonym “Energy Savings Commissioner” and now also explains the Hessian at the Internet address www.hessen-spart-energie.dewhat options they have to at least partially escape the impending price shock. “The do-it-yourself measures that we show can be carried out almost immediately,” said Herbert. You watch an episode, go to the hardware store and get started. “We explain the individual steps in such a way that nobody has to worry about making mistakes,” he promised.
Fight the uninsulated heating pipes
Apparently there is enough demand, because the civil engineer, who specializes in energy efficiency, explained that he still found uninsulated heating pipes in around 80 percent of all cellars inspected. Krick added that the effects of many of the proposals presented are so great that the money invested can be earned in a short time. For example, it makes sense to insulate roller shutter boxes that contain a lot of air.
His motto is: “Start with small, simple things, develop self-confidence and at the same time get interested in larger projects.” This is apparently happening, because the energy-saving videos have already been viewed by around 27,000 people. For Al-Wazir, the campaign offers other benefits in addition to saving energy: “The less gas I use, the less I have to buy. Every kilowatt hour saved helps to curb the price explosion, and it’s also good for the climate.”
If all three million Hessian households implement just one of the tips, then there would be enormous savings potential overall. While the CDU parliamentary group in the Hessian state parliament supported the savings tips, the left complained: “Repeated appeals for waivers without relief are social explosives.” Most people “could not save themselves” from the “massive energy price crisis”, said the parliamentary manager Torsten Felstehausen and called for relief for low and normal earning households.